IMC 2005: Sessions

Session 601: With Charity for Some: Businessmen in France and Austria

Tuesday 12 July 2005, 11.15-12.45

Moderator/Chair:Ian Blanchard, Department of Economic & Social History, University of Edinburgh
Paper 601-aCharity for Leprosy in 12th- and 13th-Century Rouen
(Language: English)
Elma Brenner, Emmanuel College, University of Cambridge
Index terms: Lay Piety, Medicine, Religious Life, Social History
Paper 601-bMoneylending among the Viennese Citizenry in the Middle Ages
(Language: English)
Birgit Wiedl, Institute for the History of Jews in Austria, St. Pölten
Index terms: Charters and Diplomatics, Economics - Urban, Social History
Paper 601-cJewish Life between Normality and Persecution in Austria
(Language: English)
Eveline Brugger, Institut für jüdische Geschichte Österreichs, St. Pölten
Index terms: Charters and Diplomatics, Economics - General, Hebrew and Jewish Studies, Social History

Abstract -a:
The leper house of Mont-aux-Malades, at Rouen before 1135, was a significant institution, enjoying ducal and royal patronage. In this paper, I will present my findings from the house’s rich archive, regarding the practice and religious understanding of charity for leprosy in twelfth- and thirteenth-century Rouen. I will discuss charity as an economic, social and religious phenomenon, closely linked to Rouen’s commercial success and the development of its communal government. Rouen’s burgesses were major patrons of Mont-aux-Malades, and I will focus particularly on their motivation and attitudes. Finally, I will consider how this evidence illuminates the history of medieval Rouen.
Abstract -b:
This paper will deal with the Viennese citizenry and their money transactions in the late 13th and 14th centuries.
Although in the Middle Ages moneylending was officially restricted to groups of a special legal status (such as Jews or Lombards), a closer look at the business charters shows that most of the transactions took place between Christians, mostly members of one social class, often within a family.
The paper will also deal with the issue whether moneylending among Christians followed the same rules as transactions involving Jews or Lombards and examine the differences and similarities of the diplomatic formulae.
Abstract -c:
This paper will deal with the impact that persecutions had on the continuity of Jewish life in medieval Austria, especially on the development of Jewish settlements, the legal status of Austrian Jews and the economic activities of Jewish businessmen.
The main focus will be on the conspicuous discrepancy between contemporary narrative sources and the numerous business charters, two types of sources which depict very differing scenarios of Jewish existence.
By a comparative analysis of these sources, the paper will attempt a reconstruction of the parameters of Jewish life in Austria from the 12th to the 15th centuries.